Thursday, September 11, 2008

What Alaskans Are Saying

From the Anchorage Press, here's a pretty balanced look at Gov. Palin's record on disability programs. In his article "Sarah and the Kids," Brendan Joel Kelley reports that many people in the state were surprised to hear her promise to be a national advocate for people with disabilities.

State Senator Bill Wielechowski: “I can tell you she wasn’t a champion for disabled children as governor. I was surprised to hear her say that in her speech.”

Representative Les Gara: “The state has a very average -- very inadequate -- policy for families with disabilities. Average because lots of states have rotten policies towards families with disabilities....I think [Governor Palin] believes in the Republican ethic, which is that there’s very little role for government to go out and help people get access to opportunity."

Jim Beck, executive director of Access Alaska, a nonprofit that advocates for people with disabilities: "She’s never elucidated a health care plan or vision or any kind of connection to the disability community. We’re really suffering from not having a big plan. It’s not as though we’re stagnant, we just don’t have the big vision."
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